Aschaffenburg 1945

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I'm researching a possible history tour, based on the actions of the US 45th (Thunderbird) Division and will likely be in the area next month.

I've got things like after-action reports and of course, the book by Kershaw but I wonder if anyone local can tell me whether this battle, which cost the lives of so many is covered in any depth in local museums? Can the scars still be seen in the city centre - like in Berlin - or is it hard to tell (well, apart from the new-builds being a give away?)

 

Thanks in advance,

Taff

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I can only tell you, thanks to Quiz Duell, that Aschaffenburg was not named after a Bistum. now you know. 

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or you could stop a Dachau where members of the 45th were accused of massacring German soldiers who were surrendering at the Dachau concentration camp in 1945. Some of the German troops were camp guards; the others were sick and wounded troops from a nearby hospital.

 

Or travel to Italy....  During and after the war, courts-martial were convened to investigate possible war crimes by members of the division. In the first two cases, dubbed the Biscari massacre, occurred on 14 July 1943, American troops from C Company, 180th Infantry Regiment, were alleged to have shot 74 Italian and two German prisoners in Acate following the capture of an airfield in the area. 

 

a well-rounded history tour.

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i don't think German museums in general, or teaching of history in schools, has much military focus. Museums that cover the WW2 period typically focus most strongly on the injustice aspects and the victims. Ditto with TV documentaries and books. You have to go into the super specialized corners to find discussions pertaining to military regiments and such, whether they be German or Allied. 

 

In my experience, most Germans, outside of maybe the freakish corner, don't know much about the military aspects of WW2 and would struggle to name any significant regiments or generals of either side. And people who show too much interest are looked on with suspicion.

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On 15/09/2021, 22:05:45, catjones said:

or you could stop a Dachau where members of the 45th were accused of massacring German soldiers who were surrendering at the Dachau concentration camp in 1945. Some of the German troops were camp guards; the others were sick and wounded troops from a nearby hospital.

 

Or travel to Italy...  During and after the war, courts-martial were convened to investigate possible war crimes by members of the division. In the first two cases, dubbed the Biscari massacre, occurred on 14 July 1943, American troops from C Company, 180th Infantry Regiment, were alleged to have shot 74 Italian and two German prisoners in Acate following the capture of an airfield in the area. 

 

a well-rounded history tour.

 

 

 

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This was a tour of several parts: I was in Alsace with the client in 2019 visiting sites associated with the 45th during Op. Nordwind. Aschaffenburg was a natural progression from what we saw in 2019. As it turned out, due to a busy schedule which included Schweinfurt and Flossenburg, covering the entirety of the battle was beyond me, so instead we just did a quick overview, including visiting the pub where the landlord greeted the first Americans with a freshly tapped keg. I've taken him to Dachau several times and the massacre is something I don't shy away from.  Italy - well - that was planned for this year but got pulled due to Covid. Maybe next year...

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I have visited Aschaffenburg several times and know that there was a lot of damage to buildings like the palace and Pompejanum Aschaffenburg, it took them years to rebuild it but had it fixed by 1960. There are even books on the fighting there. I saw plenty of photos but no damage. There isn't much damage left in Berlin now either, just a few scars and large Flak bunkers.

 

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